On paper, this might be the ugliest pitching matchup of the 2013 season.
At 7:10 tonight the Brewers will send Alfredo Figaro (3.46 ERA, 4.76 FIP) to the mound to make a spot start in place of Hiram Burgos. This is Figaro's 16th appearance as a Brewer but his first start, and he pitched an inning and allowed a run against the Pirates on Saturday. He also pitched 3.1 innings in relief against the Dodgers on May 22, and the 60 pitches he threw in that game were a season-high for him.
Figaro was a starter in the minors with the Tigers and for the last two seasons in Japan, where he posted a 3.31 ERA but averaged just 5.1 innings per appearance over 35 games. The Brewers probably have to consider it a major success if he can throw four innings tonight, as he's unlikely to be allowed to throw significantly more than 75 pitches.
No current members of the Twins have faced Figaro in the majors.
He'll face Scott Diamond (4.96 ERA, 4.88 FIP), the second "pitch to contact" starter the Twins have sent to the mound in as many days. Diamond pitched 5.2 innings against the Tigers on Thursday and allowed three runs on nine hits, walking one and tying a season-high with five strikeouts. He's posted an 8.62 ERA over his last three starts.
As noted above, Diamond has yet to strike out more than five batters in a game this season. For his career he's striking out just 4.17 batters per nine innings and when he gets hit he tends to get hit hard, as demonstrated by the fact that he's given up 1.4 home runs per nine innings this season. He'll throw a high-80's fastball with a curveball and change.
Diamond was the winning pitcher when the Twins beat the Brewers on May 18 of last year, allowing three runs on eight hits over 5.1 innings. No current Brewers have faced him ten times or more, but Ryan Braun is 2-for-3 against him with a home run.
As of this writing today's lineups have not been posted. If you've seen them, please drop them in the comments.
And in the bullpen:
- Michael Gonzalez pitched .2 innings (four pitches) yesterday, and also pitched on Sunday.
- Tom Gorzelanny pitched 1.1 innings (30 pitches) yesterday.
- Burke Badenhop pitched one inning (12 pitches) yesterday.
- John Axford pitched one inning (10 pitches) yesterday.
- Donovan Hand pitched two innings (47 pitches) on Sunday.
- Francisco Rodriguez pitched one inning (15 pitches) on Sunday.
- Brandon Kintzler pitched one inning (15 pitches) on Sunday.